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A close-up look at dry-aged beef

Published on 18 July 2013

Dry-aged beef. The term evokes a variety of responses -- for me they're the palatable kind. But how many of us have actually seen the process up close?

A story in the San Francisco Chronicle, and seen in a gallery of images from the Business Insider, takes an inside look at a dry-aging room in New Jersey, that flavors cuts of meat for some of the country's most acclaimed restaurants.

The photos by Business Insider's Liz O'Connor are impressive, and illustrate how time-intensive the process can be to make dry-aging of beef a process to enhance the prize steak.

Most beef in this country is wet-aged, where beef is preserved through seal packaging in its juices. When you buy large cuts of beef in the grocery story, they usually come in this way.

But culinary experts say dry-aging is where the flavor is. When humidity and moisture are taken out of the meat cut, the meat is reduced and the flavor concentration becomes more intense. O'Connor toured the DeBragga & Spitler facility in Jersey City -- a 27,000-square-foot warehouse with more than 3,000 large cuts being aged between 30 and 100 days.

As hard as it is to raise the beef cattle that produce high-grade meat and protein, the photos prove further that the marketability of beef depends on even more dedication further down the chain. Be sure to share this with your friends if they aren't familiar with the dry-aging process. end mark